*Reblogged from cynthiagrieb.com/cag
Is anything too hard for God? Nothing. Nothing is impossible with God (Matt. 19:26). In all of Eternity, He does as He pleases and accomplishes with perfection every task He sets out to do (Ps. 135:6, Isa. 55:10-11). No purpose of His can be thwarted (Job 42:1-2). His power and authority are infinite. The entire universe burst into existence, not by the labor of His hands and the sweat of His brow, but by the sheer raw power of His word (Gen. 1:3).
For many, the idea of God’s infinite power and authority seems to contradict His love. “If God really has all power,” they theorize, “then why doesn’t He prevent tragedy? Why does He allow cancer? Why does He allow evil men to wield power? Why must people suffer? …”
Why is a question to which there are no simple answers. In our own human reasoning, we look at hardship and suffering and tragedy in the world around us and we think, “Either God is powerless, or He doesn’t care.” But God is neither powerless nor indifferent. He is both powerful and compassionate.
Over the years, I have learned that why is a question to which we will not always know the answers. But I have also learned that there are some truths which help me to place those questions in a context that allows me to make some sense of them:
- First, there is sin in the world. The more people give in to sin, the more sin rules over them and leads to hardened hearts, evil thoughts and evil deeds (Eph. 4:17-19). All of Creation, including the very earth itself, has been corrupted by sin (Rom. 8:22). Only through Jesus Christ can we be set free from the slavery of sin (Rom. 8:1-4).
- To quote John Donne, “No man is an island.” We do not exist in isolation, and as much as we may like to view ourselves as independent, we are in truth interdependent and exist in community. For good or evil, one person’s life touches the lives of many others, often in ways we do not anticipate.
- God sets boundaries, but within those boundaries, He permits people to exercise freedom and to make choices. The choices He allows us to make are real choices with real consequences.
- God has provided prayer as a means for people to partner with Him in changing the natural course of the first three factors. Through fervent prayer, God often works to prevent tragedy or to bring healing and help to the problems caused by them.
- In all things, God acts in ways that are consistent with His character and with His purpose. He may allow what we would prevent because He sees the whole while we see in part. In view of eternity, He may prefer to allow hardship that will result in a greater good, such as the development of godly character or the saving of a soul, while we long for momentary ease.
- There will be a reckoning. We may see evil apparently triumphant, but if we could step back and see from the perspective of eternal life, we would recognize that evil’s triumph is momentary. God makes decisions from a higher motivation. He tarries in executing final justice because He “is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2Pet. 3:9)
Faith is a funny thing. We cannot please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). Indeed, we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). But faith is, by definition, “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).” It is only when we don’t fully understand, when we don’t see the way forward, that we can truly exercise faith, because faith is placing our trust in a person: The One who knows and is able to take us through. George MacDonald wrote, “The faith required of us is faith in a person, and not in the truest of statements concerning anything, even concerning him.”
Is anything too hard for Him? Nothing. Are you willing to believe it? Are you willing to look past your circumstances to see the Almighty God whose lovingkindness endures forever? Are you willing to put your faith in Him – even if He allows circumstances in your life to twist and turn in uncomfortable and maybe even tragic directions for a season? God does not promise us ease or comfort in this world. But He does promise to walk with us and to carry us through when we have no more strength.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
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